(USA Today Sports Images)New England coach Bill Belichick doesn't handle losing all too well, and he blew off CBS' customary postgame interview with the coach of the losing team after the AFC championship game.
CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe wasn't impressed and called him out for it with some harsh comments.
"There's something to be said about being gracious in defeat," Sharpe said on CBS' postgame show. "We've seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious [in the AFC championship game). We've seen the opposing coaches who lost come out and talk to our Steve Tasker. Coach [Bill] Cowher did it when they lost to them, we saw this last week.
"Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can't be a poor sport all the time. You're not going to win all the time, and he does this every time he loses. It's unacceptable."
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Those are strong words from Sharpe, but it's tough to argue. There are certain unpleasant commitments that come with being an NFL head coach, and a certain class that should be displayed in defeat. Granting an interview that coaches are expected to give after big playoff losses, including Super Bowls, to a television partner that pays a big percentage of the NFL's bills is part of that.
Instead of Belichick, CBS was given Patriots safety Devin McCourty to talk to after the game. While McCourty handled himself like a professional and praised the Ravens, that's far from a fair trade. Belichick could have stood up and answered fair questions about why he decided to punt at the Ravens' 35-yard line and later the Ravens' 34 in two instances of a very conservative approach, and also how the Patriots mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half and missed out on taking a shot at the end zone before kicking a field goal.
Belichick has a history of acting like this after losses, most notably walking off the field with a second left in Super Bowl XLII against the Giants, a move that made him look like a sore loser. We'll see if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has a fine waiting for Belichick after he stiff-armed CBS following this loss.